The Naga Chillum Express
- Hi Guys!
Not sure if JoAnn would agree,but still,
Timothy Leary's Dead Well,William Gans is not!
Here's a book I'd like to read on a cold monday,it could be both
entertaining and enlightening at the same time
Yes,this has very little to do with Rudolf Steiner Just like the
Writings of one Peter Staudenmaier!
Here's from Jody Radzik's website,he's a rather critical observer:
Naked Guru's New Autobio
"Ex-hippy washout William Gans tuned in, turned on, and dropped out
to India in 1969, took initiation as a Naga Sannyasi, and is now
about to leap back into the West with his new book, "Baba: An
Autobiography of A Blue-Eyed Yogi."
We see a very bright future for the Baba if he decides to launch a
career as a bigtime guru out here. He's got a fairly interesting
backstory, knows his way around a chillum, and will be rocking more
censors than Janet Jackson at a Superbowl with his nakedness. This
alone will generate more than enough PR for the Baba without his
having to resort to the mind-control tactics employed by other
bigtime gurus here. "
> Not sure if JoAnn would agree,but still,Hi Flemming!
> Timothy Leary's Dead
Well, you say "Timothy Leary's Dead", but like the Moody Blues, I say,
"No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
He'll fly his astral plane,
Takes you trips around the bay,
Brings you back the same day,
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
He'll take you up, he'll bring you down,
He'll plant your feet back firmly on the ground.
He flies so high, he swoops so low,
He knows exactly which way he's gonna go.
Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary."
Thanks for the book tip, I'll keep an eye out. If you haven't already, try
reading some of Ram Dass's work -- I think you'll find it congenial.
Musing Timothy Leary has just temporarily forgotten his zip code....
- --- In email@example.com, Jo Ann Schwartz
> > Not sure if JoAnn would agree,but still,
> > Timothy Leary's Dead
> Hi Flemming!
> Well, you say "Timothy Leary's Dead", but like the Moody Blues, I
> "No, no, no, no, He's outside looking in.
> He'll fly his astral plane,
> Takes you trips around the bay,
> Brings you back the same day,
> Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary.
> He'll take you up, he'll bring you down,
> He'll plant your feet back firmly on the ground.
> He flies so high, he swoops so low,
> He knows exactly which way he's gonna go.
> Timothy Leary. Timothy Leary."
> Thanks for the book tip, I'll keep an eye out. If you haven't
> reading some of Ram Dass's work -- I think you'll find itcongenial.
> Musing Timothy Leary has just temporarily forgotten his zip
> JoAnnHey JoAnn!
AH,You are the Gracious Giver of Great songs here!
About Timothy Leary,Dear Prudence and things ..
Yes,I like Ram Dass very much! Not long ago I bought and
read his "Miracle of Love",about Neem Karoli Baba,Ram Dass knew him
from 1967 to 73,then the Guru died and Ram Dass went on to have an
intense "affair",spiritually with Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati (Arlo
"Miracle of Love" is a thick book full of anecdotes,a very
Beautiful Book,the Living Breath,and,btw,I am the Walrus!
Well,HaHa Keep Rocking!
- Sounds like a good book, Flemming! Thanks for the tip. :)
Just found this, for whoever might be interested.
California Dropout Turns Blue-Eyed Yogi
By Francis C. Assisi
21 March 2005 -- First there was Swami Paramahansa Yogananda's
Autobiography of a Yogi, published in 1946. Widely recognized as a
spiritual classic, the book gave an account of the first Indian swami
to settle in America and establish a spiritual lineage. And exactly
thirty years later Yogananda's American disciple, J. Donald Walters,
would celebrate his transformation to Swami Kriyananda in The
Autobiography of a Western Yogi. Another thirty years, and we
have `Baba: An Autobiography of A Blue-Eyed Yogi' (Random House,
2005). This blue-eyed yogi is none other than Chicago-born William
Gans; fed up with American culture and the excesses of his Southern
Calfornia lifestyle, he decides to do what young men were advised to
do in the psychedelic 60s: `Turn on, tune in, drop out.' After
experimenting with mind-altering substances, he leaves his prosperous
family abode in Beverly Hills and heads for India to find himself.
That was in 1969. And 19-year-old William Gans had no idea what he'd
find in India. More importantly, he didn't know what would find him.
Thirty-six years later he emerged with a new name, Rampuri; a new
home, India; and a new occupation, guru. Rampuri is a Baba of Juna
Akhara, an ancient order of Naga Sannyasi or naked sadhus. High up in
the Hari Puri Ashram in the Himalayan foothill town of Hardwar, these
are the same sadhus who unfailingly partake in the Kumbh Mela
rituals. In their nakedness they do not emanate sexuality; on the
contrary, they control, inhibit the sexual 'vibrations', retaining
its energy so it can be mystically transformed into psychic and
The author says: "As a member of the Naga Sannyasis for the last 35
years, I am the first foreigner ever to be an initiate and member of
Juna Akhara, the oldest and largest grouping of the order. As such, I
have taken my initiations at the Kumbha Mela, and have participated
in 14 Melas. As the approach of the 21st century has had it's eroding
effects on the order, as it has on all traditional societies around
the world, I am driven to show the world one of the last glorious
manifestations of an age long passed, of a mythology quickly being
replaced by Disney, and a tradition spawned from a very ancient gene."
So this is essentially a deeply personal account of how a 19-year-old
American went to India during the heyday of the hippie movement and
his subsequent spiritual discovery. In the process he goes on to
reveal unprecedented adventures among holy men and many secrets of
the yogi tradition. It treats readers to a rare insider's perspective
and a unique insight into the ancient path of yoga and India's sacred
Rampuri begins by recounting how and why he had dropped out of high
school. "I had questions my teachers wouldn't or couldn't answer. I
had other ideas, perhaps immature and incomplete, but compelling. I
had lost my faith in them, but not lost faith. I thought of Manifest
Destiny as a pack of lies. I wanted to go join up with the American
Indians. But they were all dead."
When asked by a fellow traveller why he was opting for India, the
young American replied: "I'm not sure. Maybe Goa . . . but I'm
looking for something-I'm not sure what yet, but it's something that
we've lost in the West. Yeah, I guess I'm also going to India to have
my mind blown!"
Explains Rampuri: "For many young people, the lines that existed
between politics, spirituality, and lifestyle were faint, if they
existed at all. We were wildly idealistic and naive. .. I wanted to
find a treasure in India that would somehow make the world a better
Remember too that 1969 was not only the year that America sent the
first man to the moon, it was the year of Woodstock and it was the
year that Carlos Castaneda's "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way
of Knowledge" with its strange alchemy of anthropology, allegory,
parapsychology, ethnography, and Buddhism caught young Americans'
imagination, striking just the right note at the peak of the
psychedelic 1960s. San Francisco's Haight Ashbury had become a
microcosm of what was happening across America and even in Canada,
where American draft dodgers found a haven.
Rampuri recalls: "For as long as I could remember, I had been
fascinated by what, in those days, we called the "occult." I wanted
to meet real shamans and wizards. I believed they existed, but I
needed proof. I wanted to find ancient manuscripts containing secret
knowledge, mantras, and spells. But that was all surface stuff. I
desperately needed some answers. There were the basic questions
concerning the meaning of life, death, life after death, and Truth,
and there were other less formulated questions that had arisen after
I had taken mind-altering substances. In America I had been unable to
find a Don Juan to guide me, but my omnivorous reading of the
Upanishads, Vedanta, and books on Theosophy led me to believe that I
could indeed find these answers in India."
A friend he met in Amsterdam, then the world hippie capital,
advised: "Don't waste your time going to Goa, hanging out with
hippies. In India there are real masters who can teach the Path and
help us understand who we are. The first thing you have to know
before you begin your search is that there is no search; you are
already there at that place where you hope to arrive, but it takes
time to discover that. So, with that in mind, go and search."
Thus, Rampuri unwittingly sets out on the "journey of the hero" when
he dedicates himself to self-knowledge and learning the Truth. But
after he meets his mentor, Hari Puri Baba, he soon discovers that The
Path isn't how he imagined it, and it takes him in very unexpected
directions. He ultimately must discard all his cultural baggage, for
both his outer and inner journey, in order to confront himself and
During Rampuri's discipleship, he gets an in-depth view of many of
the common elements of Yoga and Indian spirituality, religion, and
culture, as well as an immersion in those areas normally hidden from
Western eyes. The author, with thirty five years of experience in
India, refrains from cliche, often explodes them, and provides unique
point of view and story that distinguishes Baba from other related
In his autobiography, Rampuri gives us an in-depth view of many of
the common elements of Yoga and Indian spirituality, religion and
culture, as well as an immersion in those areas normally hidden from
Western eyes. In questioning his own pre-conceived perceptions, he
contradicts the Western view of India and Yoga and reveals cultural
constructions that hide deeper and more compelling knowledge.
"I'm a spiritual subversive," Rampuri said in a recent talk to a
curious audience, "these days it seems like the closer you get to the
truth of things, the more subversive you become." In his book, Baba,
Autobiography Of A Blue Eyed Yogi, Rampuri narrates the last thirty
five years he has spent as an initiate of one of India's most ancient
and exclusive orders of mystics, the Naga Babas, or Naked Yogis, into
a compelling adventure story.
Rampuri, who says he feels like Rip Van Winkle when he visits the
United States, salutes the "New Age" with its alternative experiments
in spirituality, health, diet, fitness, and human development, but
feels that those elements which reference India only scratch the
surface, at best. "Somehow, I entered a doorway into the "Ancient
Age," where the rules, language, and the way of seeing were different
from what I grew up with," he explains. "So, for example," he
says, "I tend to see a Yogi as one who bestows blessings, who makes
common peoples' lives better, or even charmed, rather than one whose
focus is his own perfect body."
More than Memoir Rampuri's book is more than just a memoir. It's a
story about a life of spiritual devotion; a story about cultures
clashing. It is a book that any spiritual seeker, or anyone even
vaguely curious about India or the yogic tradition that emerged
there, will find fascinating. It will challenge your assumptions
about Hinduism, about yogis, about a country that enjoyed thousands
of years of rich tradition before being colonized by a Western power.
If nothing else, Baba is a great introduction to a grand old
tradition. Of course, Rampuri is not the first to point out that some
of the best learning comes from the experience outside of books. "We
don't sit down and learn these things - this isn't studying; you
don't read," said Rampuri, speaking of the yogic tradition. "When you
reach critical mass in absorbing something, there is a presence in
you, a presence that you can tap. And that is the guru."
Rampuri has clearly gone places, done things, and arrived at certain
knowledge that few, if any Westerners have ever experienced. This is
an incredible journey that one can't begin describing in a review.
The book offers compelling reading of one man's journey into the
heart of an esoteric India that few Indians know or appreciate.
If you ask Rampuri whether he is enlightened, he might counter it
this way: "I hate that word: enlightenment. It's a word like
democracy. What the hell does it mean? What meaning is the speaker
populating that word with? Words like democracy and freedom, do they
mean the same thing that they did five years ago? How do we escape
from superimposing on the world what is enlightenment? We assume that
our point of view is the universal point of view and should be
superimposed on the rest of the world to remove their ignorance." A
big problem, according to Rampuri, is that people in the West tend to
think of enlightenment as some universal state. "That universal state
doesn't exist," he said. "People don't think in universal ways, they
think in local ways."
Perhaps East and West do collide, even if it is elusive. And
serendipitous, as in the case of William Gans of Beverly Hills.
That's why he was told more than three decades ago by his guru, Hari
Puri Baba, "I have been waiting for you; I knew you would come today."
Here is an extract about Kumbh Mela by Rampuri:
"Before time was counted, long before the appearance of man, the gods
and the demons put aside their eternal battles for a moment, and
collaborated in churning the ocean of milk for the nectar of
immortality. When this nectar was finally produced, and before any of
the demons save one could taste it, the son of the chief of the gods
stole the vessel or kumbh, containing the nectar and took off in the
sky chased by just about everyone. During his flight four drops fell
to earth. Those places where the drops fell are still today
considered among the holiest of all pilgrimage spots in India. They
are Hardwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Trambak (Nasik). At those
times of Jupiter's return in the heavens to its position when each
drop was spilled in each locality, a Kumbh Mela is held for at least
30 days. During this period, there are several auspicious times,
based on the sky, for religious bathing, ritual, and most important,
initiation. This is by far the largest gathering of human beings on
earth. On the most auspicious bathing day in Prayag, 1995, sixteen
and a half million people gathered at the confluence of the Ganges
and Yamuna Rivers for a holy bath, and over 45 million people visited
the place over a 30-day period. In Haridwar, 1998, over 8 million
pilgrims bathed in a single day.
But the single greatest attraction at the Kumbha Mela, what draws the
millions of Indians is not even their holy Ganga, but the sight of
the Naga Sannyasis, the ancient order of naked yogis maintaining a
tradition so old, that it is lost in the mist of another age. The
masses are mesmerized, awed, and even frightened by the august sight
of tens of thousands of majestic renunciates, yogis, and shamans
wearing ashes for clothes, wrapping marigolds in their long tresses
of matted hair piled on top of their heads like crowns, marching in
the Royal Procession to the Bath, escorting their spiritual
preceptor, the three headed god, Dattatreya.
They are the Nagas, "the naked ones", belonging to an order founded
by Dattatreya (a naked philosopher not totally unlike the Greek
Diogenes) in the Treta Age (a long long time ago), and finally
organized into a sect by Adi Shankara in the 5th century BC. They see
themselves (as many Indians do), as the ultimate protectors of the
Sanatana Dharma, or what we call the Hindu religion, but in fact,
what they call the natural order of the universe. They are charged
with ultimately maintaining the law of nature.
Going through the door of initiation into Sannyas or the state of
renunciation, an ordinary person, a householder, becomes a denizen of
another world, a mythic world, where different laws are in effect,
and becomes transformed into a different kind of being, an almost
mythological being with mythological powers, sometimes performing
miracles, certainly mythological capable of such things consistent
with the laws of his extraordinary world.
He joins the world of gods and demons, and is a member of a family
not determined by blood and genes, but by esoteric tradition, the
mystical genes coming from Dattatreya. The "mating",
the "procreation", and the "empowerment" of these "families"
exclusively take place at a Kumbha Mela."
> Hi Guys!
> Not sure if JoAnn would agree,but still,
> Timothy Leary's Dead Well,William Gans is not!
> Here's a book I'd like to read on a cold monday,it could be both
> entertaining and enlightening at the same time
> Yes,this has very little to do with Rudolf Steiner Just like the
> Writings of one Peter Staudenmaier!
> Here's from Jody Radzik's website,he's a rather critical observer:
> Naked Guru's New Autobio
> "Ex-hippy washout William Gans tuned in, turned on, and dropped out
> to India in 1969, took initiation as a Naga Sannyasi, and is now
> about to leap back into the West with his new book, "Baba: An
> Autobiography of A Blue-Eyed Yogi."
> We see a very bright future for the Baba if he decides to launch a
> career as a bigtime guru out here. He's got a fairly interesting
> backstory, knows his way around a chillum, and will be rocking more
> censors than Janet Jackson at a Superbowl with his nakedness. This
> alone will generate more than enough PR for the Baba without his
> having to resort to the mind-control tactics employed by other
> bigtime gurus here. "
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jennifer"
> Sounds like a good book, Flemming! Thanks for the tip. :)
> Just found this, for whoever might be interested.
> Wednesday Vibes,
Thank You so much for that long review of that
book by the blue-eyed naga boy!!
Nagas - well,one rarely hears about female Nagas
yet they do exist,Mata Keiko Aikawa is one such.
Nagas do odd things,like staying under the ground
for days,here's a link:
But do these bizarre feats further the Human
Evolution?? - Well,HaHa- Not more than playing chess would!
Still,I find this japanese woman more interesting than